Hydrodynamic theory of quantum fluctuating superconductivity

Richard A. Davison, Luca V. Delacrétaz, Blaise Goutéraux, Sean A. Hartnoll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


A hydrodynamic theory of transport in quantum mechanically phase-disordered superconductors is possible when supercurrent relaxation can be treated as a slow process. We obtain general results for the frequency-dependent conductivity of such a regime. With time-reversal invariance, the conductivity is characterized by a Drude-type peak, with width given by the supercurrent relaxation rate. Using the memory matrix formalism, we obtain a formula for this width (and hence also the dc resistivity) when the supercurrent is relaxed by short-range density-density interactions. This leads to an effective field theoretic and fully quantum derivation of a classic result on flux flow resistance. With strong breaking of time-reversal invariance, the optical conductivity exhibits what we call a "hydrodynamic supercyclotron" resonance. We obtain the frequency and decay rate of this resonance for the case of supercurrent relaxation due to an emergent Chern-Simons gauge field. The supercurrent decay rate in this "topologically ordered superfluid vortex liquid" is determined by the conductivities of the normal fluid component, rather than the vortex core.

Original languageEnglish
Article number054502
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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